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Relationships with car manufacturers are strengthening, say dealers

Franchised vehicle dealers believe there has been an overall improvement in the day to day relationship with their manufacturer. Sales incentive programmes and improved profitability boosted partnerships whilst signs of an improving economy has boosted consumer confidence, according to the NFDA Dealer Attitude Survey Summer 2013 results.

The NFDA Summer 2013 Dealer Attitude Survey, published today, shows that there has been a significant increase in the overall value of the franchise. When asked about the overall value of the franchised, the all dealer average increased from 6.9 to 7.2. This is the first time since the Winter 2009 survey that the score is above 7.0.

Land Rover, Mini, BMW, Kia and Audi were recorded as the top 5 franchises. The least valued franchises by respondents are Honda, Vauxhall, Peugeot, Volvo and Jaguar.

The trend towards improving dealer/manufacturer relationships, highlighted in the Winter 2012/2013 Dealer Attitude Survey, continued. When questioned about the partnership with their manufacturer the all dealer average increased from 3.7 to 3.8. When dealers were asked their ability to do business with their manufacturer on a day to day basis the all dealer average increased from 3.7 to 3.8.

Also profit and profitability ratings have improved in this survey with dealers at a time when new car registrations have experienced strong growth. When rating the profit return by representing their franchise, the dealer average improved from 2.9 to 3.3. This also higher than a year ago when the average was 3.1. 

When asked about the future profitability of their business the all dealer average improved from 3.2 to 3.5.

Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association, said: "We are pleased to see that manufacturer/dealer relationships have improved. Dealer profitability always has a direct impact on overall dealer satisfaction. With a significant boost in new car registrations and the return of consumers to showrooms the increase in scores could be attributed to the recovering economy.

"However, the results of the survey show there is an overall positive development in the relationship between manufacturers and dealers. This is particularly encouraging following the block exemption changes that came into place in May.

"Despite the overall improvement in the survey scores there is still scope with certain manufacturers to develop their relationships with their dealer networks as some still fall well below average in many areas of the survey.”

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